Thursday 26 October 2023

220 points of Irishmen walk into a bog.

I love the Never Mind the Billhooks rules. I have done since they were offered as a freebie during lockdown. When Andy Callan released the Deluxe vesrion I started building extra armies to use. Burgundians naturally, Swiss obviously and because I already had a few Kern and gallowglass I set to building an Irish army. Like all my projects I painted more units than I will ever need, but thats the way I am. 
So when it was my week to stage a game I decided that John and I should fight in Ireland with my Irish.
We opted for 220 points which gives a lot of units but a much more satisfying game for me and John.
The native Irish aren't allowed any artillery in the rules, very, very few fire arm troops, too expensive and only a small number of bill and longbowmen. Oh and the cavalry as they should be are light ones although one is allowed a unit of Lord Deputy spears that are quite good melee troops, apparently. My deputies ward consisted of three units of levy bow [ cheap] and one unit of veteran billmen.

Because each gallowglass unit  has to have a minimum of two kern skirmish units I fielded four units of these annoying little buggers. I added Scottish mercenary axemen and a lot of bonnact, ie. formed kern. I attempted to make the terrain Irish like with three bogs and a lot of hills.
John fielded a typical WOR Lancastrian host, but with no artillery and no mounted heavy cavalry. I was initially glad of this, but during the actual game it didn't matter too much.
One of the mistakes I made was to amalgamate my gallowglass and bonnact into blocks in order to be able to issue orders. I also put my levy archers in long lines, again because of the lack of order chits. Each commander had only two orders to give each move.
I wont bore anyone with what happened in each move, lets just say I lost by the margin of 14 chits to 2. Thats a very sizeable defeat as two chits equals one unit. My Irish are fast, they pack a punch but die very easily if facing an arrow storm. My skirmishers weren't allowed to be effective and my mounted spears were wiped out in one charge where I also lost their commander.
  Was it a good game? Absolutely. Will I field the Irish again? Definitely. So well done again Andy for writing a great set of wargames rules.
I will be at Fiasco this Sunday, so if anyone wants to accost me, you are more than welcome.


Saturday 21 October 2023

Trigger Warning, these images may be upsetting to wargamers under the age of 35.

Its been tough taking the brush back up. From being a painting fury I suddenly stopped, a bit like Forrest Gump when he stopped running. There was no reason, well none that I would admit to, but I stopped. 
I'm still not my prolific self but at least I have slapped a bit of colour about and actually feel motivated enough to want to. I don't view myself as some radical environmentalist, in fact the urge to set about a few oil protestors comes over me now and again. Its probably my age. Anyway, as followers will notice I like old figure ranges and did enjoy building my two ECW armies.
So looking at my burgeoning Persian army and following a few bloggers who think the same I decided to revamp my Persians, replacing my Victrix figures with old and I mean old ranges, especially Garrison, Lamming, Hinchliffe and Mini Figs.
Personally I'm happy buying up old and badly painted stuff and going from there. I like the challenge and somehow feel it speeds up the process of getting them on the table. Accuracy? Maybe, although the Mini Fig PB ranges were designed using the original Wargames Research Group books and that'll do for me. No doubt if I turned up at the Ancient Societies bash there may be a few tuts but hey ho.
Re-reading the best article that has surfaced in the Wargames Illustrated recently regarding nostalgic collections etc I was inspired to replace any ancient Persians that were created after 2000. 
  A base of Mini Figs, PB ancient Persian archers, best viewed from a couple of feet away. I did enjoy giving them a bit of attention, but obviously not to everyone's taste. 
Can I say I still love the beauty of a lot of new figures, especially Ebor Figures, Antediluvian Miniatures, the Perry brothers etc. etc. but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and just think how much I am contributing towards saving the planet for the next generation of wargamers.
This week John and I had a great game using his wonderful Warlord Epic ECW armies, painted as 30 Years War protagonists. We opted for a set of rules I used to enjoy, Baroque. I had forgotten just how good they are and although it was a struggle getting my head around a few issues about when to roll high or low, not that mattered. I always roll the wrong way. The rules really allowed the game to flow and for me gave a great period feel to the battle. Oh and the Epic figures looked brilliant. 


Tuesday 10 October 2023

Never rely on a Bavarian

Before I provide a synopsis of my Edgehill refight I thought it would be nice to provide images of one of the few things Ive completed lately. I had seen the review of a new wagon created by the brilliant plastic company called Dungeons and Lasers. Dave Thomas stocks the series and I bought the wagon as soon as I saw he had one on display. Yes its a fantasy piece, and yes it is scaled for about 35mm, but its a lovely model and I would recommend it to anyone who likes such things It was very easy to construct and a real pleasure to paint. I attempted to do a neat job on the piece and although I will never produce a wagon as lovely as the top painters I still like it. Next time you are passing Dave Thomas at one of the shows, buy one, you wont be disappointed. 

Anyway Edgehill. John and I fought the battle using the updated Pike and Shotte rules provided in the Warlord Epic ECW box. I hope that they will release a version for those who dont collect Epic figures. I added a couple of extras, in that I had managed to obtain a number of incident cards that cater for the battles of the ECW and John and I drew two each. Usually the cards are things like, brigade commander is late for breakfast, minus one to command etc. I thought it would add a bit of friction. Once used one was allowed to roll for an additional card if one rolled a six. We never managed that.
Only Rupert was given a command rating of 9 whilst most other commanders had the usual 8 rating, although Ballard for Parliament and Byron for the Royalists were given a 7 rating. Strangely it didn't seem to affect their commands too much, whereas Rupert!!!!!
In order to reflect the lack of firearms of the Royalists and the well provided Parliamentarian foot, there was a disadvantage for the Royalist firing and a plus for those damned rebels. Given the advantage one would expect the Royalists to attack with pike as quickly as possible. To also reflect history the brigade of Charles Essex was given a 'wavering' classification when fired upon. So given that its sometimes best to follow history I thought I would produce a cunning plan...... 
Sadly it was more Baldrick than an Alexander. The Royalists led by me managed to confound history.
My Rupert was more poltroon than a prince as he continued to fail his command rolls and allow the best cavalry on the field to stand and be shot at by the rebel commanded shot. Couple that to some absolutely dire morale throws I struggled badly.
Given the size of the cavalry commands it only takes three hits to shake a unit, remember that each two actual figures represents a troop of 50 men the rebel commanded shot and medium gun began to take their toll on the stationary royalist cavalry.  The red and yellow tokens shows the shaken and disordered status of my cavalry as their horses chewed grass and waited.

In the Royalist centre I had to use Charles to get Byron's command to advance. Unfortunately they advanced piecemeal and John was able to break up the Royalist infantry by some good firing and smart marching. One can see the Kings Lifeguard shaken and exhausted with little in the way of meaningful support. I did manage to drive the wavering brigade from the field,... eventually.
On the left the Royalists made a better fist of things and Wilmot leading the cavalry steadily chewed up the rebel cavalry who suffered from the shooting of my supporting dragoons. Of course it couldn't last and John managed to cover his right by marching a foot regiment into the front of my cavalry where they stood like a stonewall, to mix up my history a little.  After three hours of battle, I had lost two infantry brigades and a cavalry brigade, John had lost two brigades but was in a far better position tactically. 
                      So Charles led his pensioners from the field and cursed Rupert as he did so.
          To cheer up Charles I held a small review of Ruperts best cavalry, much use they were,...not.
Yes I lost, yes I am a crap general but can I say it was a very good game with some tense and exciting moments. The actual refight is doable for most ECW wargamers and I would recommend the purchase and use of Stuart Asquith's excellent series of battles for the civil war.                                                                                               As for Rupert, who calls their child Rupert for God's sake?


My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating